05 November 2008

"Unyielding Hope"

05 November 2008

A good day to be a gringo.


Miracle Legion: All For The Best

Again, from Greil Marcus's Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. Now under a new light.

The mask--whatever its practical uses, as it is assumed upon waking, before it is removed for sleep, by Puritan or the pioneer, or their shades lurking in any American--emerges from the dynamic of the new world. It is the face of a new nation where all are presumed free to invent themselves, to make themselves up out of nothing, just as, with each unspoken wish or finished act, all are making up their country.

That is the credo, and no matter how many are at any time forbidden to utter it, American women, American blacks, and on, and on, sooner or later it will shape them all, and all will say it out loud, as a blessing or curse: the presumption of self-invention is the presumption of beginning with nothing, which is the presumption of equality. As a credo it is an argument you have with yourself far more than with others, to convince yourself, since no one would publicly profess disbelief: “We’s all borned equal. We all supposed to have the same chance, under our Constitution”
(an excerpted Dock Boggs quote).


The old America of the founders, of the Puritan, the pioneer, and the lawgiver, was always present, Murray said-—it was all about “free enterprise. Don’t reduce it to economics; I’m talking about free endeavor: an experimental attitude, and openness to improvisation. The disposition to approach life as a frontiersman, you see, so piety does not hold you back. You can’t be overrespectful of established forms; you’re trying to get through the wilderness of Kentucky”—-and the point was not “that if something doesn’t work for everybody, it doesn’t work. The important thing is that the official promise existed. ‘All men are created equal.’ Now you had something to appeal to.”

(If you can't see a small, blue square and triangle that resembles a play button, go here and follow directions. Installing this will allow you to read and listen to music at the same time--like a real live multitasker!)

1 comment:

eric n. said...

where to now? i have not been following as I should...

Eric N.